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for Members and Retirees
VRS Logo 02-12-2020

VRS' top priority is the safety and well-being of the communities we serve and our team members. Most VRS staff are working remotely to assist you by phone, online or webinar. We continue to process retirements, pay retiree benefits, issue refunds and respond as quickly as possible to your day-to-day needs.

  • No in-person services are available at VRS offices or onsite at regional and employer locations.
  • Call 888-827-3847 to schedule a phone or virtual counseling appointment.
  • Members and retirees may access your myVRS accounts online for benefit estimates and other resources.
  • Member education webinars are available online.
  • VRS is processing the retiree payroll on time each month. See the direct deposit schedule.

Due to budgetary impacts caused by COVID-19, some VRS-participating employers are placing personnel on leave without pay. If you are in this situation, review the Coronavirus-Related Leave Without Pay and Your VRS Member Benefits informational summary.

Beneficiary updates: Take time to verify your beneficiary designations (VRS-2). Hybrid members must also designate a beneficiary for the defined contribution component of your retirement plan.

Power of attorney: You may authorize others to discuss your VRS account information (VRS-900) and/or submit a Durable Power of Attorney (VRS-901).

CARES

CARES Act:

Coronavirus-related distributions: A qualified individual is anyone who

  • is diagnosed, or whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed, with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the coronavirus disease 2019 (collectively, "COVID-19") by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (including a test authorized under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act); or
  • experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of the individual, the individual's spouse, or a member of the individual's household (that is, someone who shares the individual's principal residence):
    • being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off, or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19
    • being unable to work due to lack of childcare due to COVID-19
    • closing or reducing hours of a business that they own or operate due to COVID-19
    • having pay or self-employment income reduced due to COVID-19
    • having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed due to COVID-19

VRS members who meet the criteria for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution may request a distribution from the following defined contribution plans: the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, the Virginia Cash Match Plan 401(a) and the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

To initiate a distribution, visit www.varetire.org/dcp; then select your defined contribution plan to log in to Account Access or create a user ID and password. Once logged on, select Forms and locate the CRD under the Roll/Disburse category. The form can be downloaded as a PDF or emailed. Upon completion, the form can be mailed or faxed to ICMA-RC. You may also request a form by contacting ICMA-RC Participant Services at 877-327-5261, option 1.

Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs):

RMDs to retirees are waived for defined contribution plans for calendar year 2020, as well as 2019 RMDs required to be made as of April 1, 2020. VRS and ICMA-RC are contacting affected participants individually by email or letter.

Other allowed distributions:

Under limited circumstances not related to the coronavirus, emergency withdrawals are allowed from the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (not all employers have elected this plan). 

Non-allowed distributions:

Active VRS members may not take refunds or withdrawals from defined benefit pension plans: VRS Plan 1, VRS Plan 2 or the Hybrid Retirement Plan defined benefit component. Withdrawals also are not allowed from certain defined contribution plans including the Hybrid Retirement Plan 401(a) Cash Match Plan or optional retirement plans.

Register for or log into your myVRS account for detailed information on your VRS benefits as a member or retiree.

Take advantage of the myVRS Planner and Benefit Estimator for members.

myVRS Financial Wellness for members now offers COVID-19-focused resources.

Retirees can print income verification, view your tax information and change tax withholdings.

We understand the current financial markets have created concerns among VRS members and retirees. While it is difficult to predict market fluctuations, VRS structures its portfolio to minimize the impact of market volatility on its overall investments. No single investment type dominates the portfolio. VRS investment professionals are focused on managing the portfolio for the long-term.

Investment performance does not affect the member's defined benefit retirement benefit amount.

For members and retirees who have a balance in a VRS defined contribution plan, such as the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, learn more about market risk and return and the impact on your investing portfolio by visiting www.varetire.org/dcp.

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